Turquoise Holiday Memories

Another’s post prompted this topic.
What is your favorite Holiday memory related to turquoise?

My family and I lived in Chinle, AZ in the mid 1980’s.
We always came back to Wisconsin for Christmas and saw relatives then.

The first year we went back my Mom and Uncle, who I grew up with and lived with my Mom, had some special present requests.
My Uncle wanted a ring with turquoise. He had never wore a ring before. Did not have access to a ring sizer. I told him to place a piece of tape around his knuckle with the ends just meeting. Then take it off and measure.
He had very swollen knuckles due to arthritis, so the size came back at a 13.
We went to the weekly flea market in Gallup NM. I wanted a size 14 ring, as I knew his knuckles would continue to swell. The arthritis was due to Lyme’s disease.
I saw a few nice ones, but they were cost prohibitive.
Then saw someone selling jewelry from the back of their pick up truck. Most vendors paid for table spaces, but anyone could set up and sell from a vehicle/trailer.
I had brought our ring mandrel with us that day so I could check sizes.

Saw a beautiful ring with turquoise and red coral. Also something that looked like bone.
The seller said it was made from Sleeping Beauty turquoise, natural red coral and something special. He had gotten some Wisconsin deer antlers to use in jewelry. Perfect, as my family was from Wisconsin. My Uncle had hunted deer for many years.

I checked the size and it was a 14.

I asked the price, since it was unmarked. The seller said $100.00! Granted, it was heavy silver, with larger turquoise and coral, but that was more than we could afford.

I let the seller know who I wanted it for and a little about him.
The seller asked what Anglos like us were doing in the area. I told him. Turns out he had a relative with a connection to where I was establishing an adult training/employment facility for those with challenges. His niece was someone there. He had heard about me and all the great things I was doing for her.

He gave us the ring!

My Uncle loved it. I told him the story behind it.
Unfortunately, my Uncle passed away about 6 months later due to complications from Lyme’s Disease.
I had seen him once after that Christmas. He was wearing the ring.
My Mom told me he wore the ring often.
I still have that ring, somewhere. Wish I knew where and could photograph it.

So, what is your favorite Holiday memory related to turquoise?


Thank you for sharing this, I got choked up. What a great story that you will have with you forever. And you can always picture him wearing the ring!

I bet the Chinle area looked very different in the 80’s than it does now. And so different from WI!